Link:: Author:: KEVIN KELLY Tags:#media/article

  • Most of the poor of the world don’t have such access to resources as these Yunnan farmers, but even in their poorer environment they still choose to use their meager cash to purchase the benefits of the 3rd revolution over the benefits of the 2nd revolution. Connection before plumbing. It is an almost universal choice.

    • the caveat here is that plumbing systems (running water, filtration, sewage, etc.) which is the really useful part of 2nd industrial revolution is very expensive. a toilet by itself is not and does not provide much benefit. It is being connected to the system that is very important. One parallel with the 3rd industrial revolution and the internet is that the system is all built for everyone, everywhere. You don’t need to set it up specifically somewhere new, it’s all ready for a new person to hop on. This vastly decreases the barriers to entry and the bias that can happen as in 2nd industrial revolution where 1st-world countries were able to invest millions to move into the future and leave the 3rd-world countries behind.
  • Everything changed, however, when computers married the telephone. This is when ordinary people noticed computers. They could get online. Everything went online. Retail changed, production changed, occupations changed. This communication revolution accelerated change elsewhere. Processes and gizmos got smarter because they were connected. Now the advantages of personal computers made sense because in fact they were just local terminals in something bigger: the network. As the Sun Computer company famously put it: the network is the computer.

    • This point is controversial but i think there’s something to it… I think he understates the value of a computer and what it can do on it’s own. There was a lot of value in the creative processes enabled by programs on the computer, like programming software via tactile user-generated and seeing displays light up in front of you. Allowed humans to better move at the speed of their mind. But maybe that’s only an additive change and the multiplicative change is
  • Civilization is not just about saving labor but also about “wasting” labor to make art, to make beautiful things, to “waste” time playing, like sports. Nobody ever suggested that Picasso should spend fewer hours painting per picture in order to boost his wealth or improve the economy. The value he added to the economy could not be optimized for productivity. It’s hard to shoehorn some of the most important things we do in life into the category of “being productive.” Generally any task that can be measured by the metrics of productivity — output per hour — is a task we want automation to do. In short, productivity is for robots. Humans excel at wasting time, experimenting, playing, creating, and exploring. None of these fare well under the scrutiny of productivity. That is why science and art are so hard to fund. But they are also the foundation of long-term growth. Yet our notions of jobs, of work, of the economy don’t include a lot of space for wasting time, experimenting, playing, creating, and exploring.

    • Andrew Yang’s idea of replacing GDP with something that takes this into account, GDP doesn’t count what we’re good for and essential to with art and parenting and creative pursuits
  • What is important is that this self-increasing cycle makes things that are new. New goods, new services, new dreams, new ambitions, even new needs. When things are new they are often not easy to measure, not easy to detect, nor easy to optimize. The 1st Industrial Revolution that introduced steam and railways also introduced new ideas about ownership, identity, privacy, and literacy. These ideas were not “productive” at first, but over time as they seeped into law, and culture, and became embedded into other existing technologies, they helped work to become more productive. For example ideas of ownership and capital became refined and unleashed new arrangements for funding large-scale projects in more efficient ways. In some cases these indirect ideas may have more long-term affect on growth than the immediate inventions of the time.

    • ideas don’t have to be about money or production at first, but if they are revolutionary they will generate money and growth
  • The main accomplishment of this 3rd Industrialization, the networking of our brains, other brains and other things, is to add something onto the substrate of productivity. Call it consumptity, or generativity. By whatever name we settle on, this frontier expands the creative aspect of the whole system, increasing innovations, expanding possibilities, encouraging the inefficiencies of experiment and exploring, absorbing more of the qualities of play. We don’t have good measurements of these yet.